The Ice Beauty’s Control
Shentu Tian-Yin’s bodyguard walked towards the Rolls Royce Phantom. His walked slowly and he looked nervous. Loyalty was not an issue as one of those who were permitted to be by Shentu Tian-Yin’s side but this was a remote bomb which could explode at any time he was up against after all and he was in the blast range. Even professional bodyguards would feel nervous and afraid.
Xia Lei had already surveyed the Rolls Royce Phantom and seen everything clearly by the time the bodyguard walked towards the car park. Distance and car were not an issue with his eye. Though he did not see that woman, he saw the object she had stuck to the car chassis.
“Don’t go over!” Xia Lei warned loudly, “The bomb is under the car; you’ll get caught in the explosion.”
The bodyguard stopped and looked back at Xia Lei. He also looked at Shentu Tian-Yin, who had just exited the workshop, out of the corner of his eye. He seemed to be waiting for Shentu Tian-Yin to give him a command but she just stood there, expressionless.
The bodyguard continued on his path towards the Rolls Royce Phantom after that look.
Shentu Tian-Yin’s non-command was a command too. He would jump into a flaming volcano if she commanded, let alone face a bomb.
“You’re still going even when you know there’s a bomb?” exclaimed Xia Lei.
The bodyguard did not look back this time.
Ning Yuan-Shan walked to Xia Lei with large strides and asked nervously, “What’s going on, Little Lei? What bomb? Where’s the bomb?”
“There really is a bomb. It’s under the Rolls Royce,” said Xia Lei.
“How can this be?” Ning Yuan-Shan was disbelieving.
“Xia Lei, you’re joking, right? Who can be so bold in this day and age to openly place a bomb under the car of the young lady of the Shentu clan? Aren’t you just spouting frightening words to scare others?” said Chi Jing-Qiu.
Xia Lei gave her a look. “If you think it’s just frightening words then you’re welcome to take the place of that bodyguard and inspect the car. Either that or you can retrieve the bomb.”
“I…” Chi Jing-Qiu was about to say that she would but changed her words, “I’m not going!”
Xia Lei glared at her, “Then why are you here squawking away?”
Chi Jing-Qiu did not look offended but said quietly, “I know what you’re planning. You’re trying to get acquainted with Shentu Tian-Yin aren’t you? I’m going to hinder your efforts.”
Xia Lei could not be bothered to speak with her anymore and looked back at the car park.
The bodyguard had reached the side of the Rolls Royce Phantom. He bent in a crouch cautiously.
Xia Lei was so nervous he felt like his heart was in his throat. He glanced at Shentu Tian-Yin. Her face held no trace of nervousness; she was calm. It was as if she had sent not a person, but a bomb disposal robot into danger.
‘She’s so young but already has such a heart of steel. This isn’t normal, is it? Does she even have emotions?’ thought Xia Lei to himself.
The bodyguard retrieved the bomb from the chassis of the Rolls Royce Phantom and held it in both hands as he started lowering it carefully to the ground.
If that woman called the mobile phone attached to the bomb now, he would be blasted to pieces.
“There’s… there’s really a bomb?” Chi Jing-Qiu was in shock. She was not in the blast range but she still quickly moved back, putting more distance between herself and the bomb.
Ning Yuan-Shan was scared speechless. He was a timid man and he retreated behind a column in a panic.
Shentu Tian-Yin’s three other bodyguards stood in front of her, forming a human wall.
The only ones who did not move were Xia Lei and Shentu Tian-Yin.
Shentu Tian-Yin looked at Xia Lei with some interest, “Aren’t you afraid?”
‘If a person worth billions is not afraid, why should I be?’ thought Xia Lei but he said, “I think you should worry about your bodyguard instead. Are you going to let him hold onto the bomb like that?”
Shentu Tian-Yin spoke calmly, “You think the person who wants to kill me would kill one bodyguard of mine in this situation?”
Xia Lei was flabbergasted.
That woman’s target was Shentu Tian-Yin and now that Shentu Tian-Yin had uncovered the bomb she planted, her mission had failed. If she activated the bomb and killed one of Shentu Tian-Yin’s bodyguards, it would not bring any harm to Shentu Tian-Yin but give her an advantage!
Xia Lei’s couldn’t help the wry smile on his lips after suddenly understanding why Shentu Tian-Yin was so calm. There he was worrying about her and her bodyguard but she had already seen into the mind of the would-be killer. This intelligence, this control – what need had she of his blind worry?
In the car park, the bodyguard finally placed the bomb on the ground.
Shentu Tian-Yin made a small wave with her hand and only then did the bodyguard hastily exit the car park.
SHe looked at Xia Lei, “What did that woman look like?”
“She was very young.” Xia Lei gave a brief description of the woman’s appearance, height and features.
“Thank you,” Shentu Tian-Yin turned to Xia Lei, “What is your name? I will send someone to reward you.”
Xia Lei was about to give his name but felt insulted at Shentu Tian-Yin’s second sentence. He smiled bitterly, “Sure, it’s fine if you want to give me money. Just donate a million to any old folks’ home.”
“You will get the donation receipt,” said Shentu Tian-Yin,
Xia Lei stood blankly for a bit. He was only saying it so he did not expect Shentu Tian-Yin to respond in that way. He looked at her but she had already looked away.
Xia Lei didn’t want to say more; he felt uncomfortable.
Ning Yuan-Shan finally got over his terror. He went to Xia Lei’s side, “Master Xia, there really was a bomb, you… How did you see it?”
“It was a coincidence. Everything’s fine now. I’ll go off now, Uncle Ning. You should call the police and let them handle it,” said Xia Lei.
Only then did Ning Yuan-Shan come to his senses and he hurriedly got his mobile phone out to call the police.
Xia Lei walked towards the main entrance and didn’t look back. The police would take care of matters after the report was made. He had already described the woman to Shentu Tian-Yin and the police would follow up, so it was no use for him to stay behind. Unbeknownst to him, Shentu Tian-Yin’s eyes were on him as he left.
Outside the main entrance, Xia Lei received a text message from Chi Jing-Qiu: Don’t forget our deal. I’ll get you a nice order within a week.
Xia Lei’s first reaction to the text message was revulsion. He was reminded of Chi Jing-Qiu’s earlier mocking and ridicule and felt like rejecting the deal. However, he re-thought and replied with a text message: Okay.
Business was business. Chi Jing-Qiu could bring in big orders and big clients he’d have no way of knowing. This would be a good boost for his career so why reject it over a bit of disgust? That wasn’t a wise move. America and China crossed swords in the past but they’re the biggest trading partners now weren’t they?
There were no taxis in the suburbs where East Wind Heavy Industries was located so Xia Lei followed the main road, heading towards the harbour. Ten minutes later, he hadn’t seen a single taxi but a fleet of police cars came into view.
The first cars rushed past with their lights flashing but the last came to a screeching halt next to Xia Lei. Xia Lei looked at the driver’s seat, saw Jiang Ru-Yi and said with a smile, “So, Chief Jiang, are you bringing your boys to battle for ‘Fighting the Landlord’?”
“You ass!” Jiang Ru-Yi alighted, took a swing at Xia Lei and spoke fiercely, “Don’t you know how to be more specific? I can’t even talk about the message. If the leader knows about it, I’ll be in big trouble! You shut up about it too!”
Xia Lei shrugged, “Relax, I won’t mention the message.”
Jiang Ru-Yi calmed down, and a smile appeared on her face, “So this means you saw the face of the person who placed the bomb?”
“Yep, I did,” said Xia Lei.
“Then describe the woman to me. I need to show something to the leader.” Jiang Ru-Yi looked excited.
“I’ve told Shentu Tian-Yin. Your leader and colleagues may be talking to Shentu Tian-Yin right now. If you don’t go over there right now, won’t you get a scolding instead of a chance to perform well?”
“Ah? You aren’t helping! I’m off!” Jiang Ru-Yi hurriedly got into her car, stepped on the accelerator and zoomed off.
Xia Lei watched Jiang Ru-Yi go, then said to himself, “You were actually the first person I told. You didn’t take it seriously and blamed me instead, so you deserve it.”
Xia Lei managed to get a taxi when he was almost to the harbour. He took the taxi to the city, then headed to the bank and cashed two cheques. He deposited the one million from East Wind Heavy Industries in his account and took the 50,000 as cash. He couldn’t forget Ma Xiao-An and Zhou Xiao-Hong, who’d stayed in Thunder Horse Workshop to work while he was at East Wind Heavy Industries.
When he walked out of the bank, Xia Lei received a phone call from Ning Yuan-Shan.
“Little Lei,” Ning Yuan-Shan changed the way he addressed him on the phone, coming across as a familiar person, “I’d planned to have a good talk with you but this incident happened unexpectedly. I’m so sorry.”
“Uncle Ning, it’s fine. You don’t have to feel apologetic,” said Xia Lei with a small laugh.
“How can that do? You’ve helped me out a great deal but I haven’t even said a line of thanks yet,” said Ning Yuan-Shan.
Xia Lei changed the topic, “Right, Uncle Ning, so was the matter of the bomb taken care of?”
“The bomb was real, and it was made of military-grade high-power explosives. I shiver just thinking about it. The police have looked at our surveillance tapes but they did not find that woman. A Chief surnamed Jiang volunteered to take on the task of being responsible for the case but her leader did not agree to it in the end.”
“No one mentioned me?” Xia Lei knew the person Ning Yuan-Shan talked about was Jiang Ru-Yi and he was not surprised.
“Miss Shentu called in advance to not mention you. But I do think this is a good thing. It’ll bring you some trouble otherwise,” said Ning Yuan-Shan.
‘So it was Shentu Tian-Yin who called. Did she not want to trouble me either?’ thought Xia Lei to himself, then he suddenly laughed, ‘I’m overthinking it. Why would someone of her status be concerned about me?’
Ning Yuan-Shan’s voice came from the phone, “Right, Little Lei. Let’s have a celebratory dinner tonight.”
“You don’t have to go to that trouble, Uncle Ning. Really, you don’t,” Xia Lei hastened to say.
“How can that do? I don’t care – you must come,” Ning Yuan-Shan was insistent, “I’ll call Ning Jing too. I’ll make reservations at the hotel and send you the time and address. It’s decided, then.”
He did not care if Xia Lei agreed or not and hung up just like that after saying his piece, giving Xia Lei no chance to refuse.
Xia Lei gave it no further thought. He hailed a taxi and headed back to Thunder Horse Workshop.